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Let’s be frank: Turkey doesn’t hit you over the head with its flavor. It’s subtle, fragrant, earthy, fresh even. So, as you dress it up in its many iterations this year, you might want to keep some of these flavor enhancers in mind. Of course, they are good to have on hand year round. You’ll use them again and again.
I’ve made my lists and shopping has begin. Cooking for Thanksgiving is my favorite food event of the year. My turkey’s pretty standard with the olive oil and dried herbs, and my stuffing’s the same each year: with ground pork, onions, and apple. The gravy’s always made from the innards; the potatoes are always mashed. Mid-day the cooks feast on slivers of the turkey’s heart with salt and a bit of the liver seared with the leftover apple bits. Oh, and a bottle of the good bubbles gets popped.
The dark leafy greens are appearing at the farmers market, and, boy, have they been lush. I bought some kale not knowing yet what I was going to do with it. I knew I’d be making some chili in my new slow cooker and considered chopping it into that. But after piling in the ground beef, goat chorizo, onions, peppers, garlic, baby eggplant, tomatoes, and beans it was clear that thought was unrealistic.
Get ready for my data dump. I’ve been beating the heat reading all my food magazines. I even branched out: Saveur from the newsstand and Cook’s Illustrated from my new subscription by coercion ($19.95 for a year plus a surprisingly slight cheese board). CI continues to be as boring as ever, though I do see more DIY-inspired projects (pasta, flatbread, granola) and the recipes seem a tad updated (Philly cheesesteaks instead of steak Diane). Saveur’s June/July issue was a fine read, but the recipes continue to have too many ingredients for my taste–the spicy chicken wings on the cover that duped induced me to buy it has 17. This recommendation for a “premium” tonic syrup, however, is just what the soda stream crowd has been looking for.
Here’s a tip for saladphobes, especially those who occasionally feel guilty as all the good press greens get builds up–or after a few days of serious Thanksgiving eating. I surely enjoy a healthy diet, ergo I must eat rabbit food now and then. My workaround? I often have chili on top of salad. And I like it. A lot.
Funny story. I got very early training in cocktail party food. When I was a kid, my household’s most common snack was a plate of some combination of fruit, vegetables, nuts, cheese, and lunch meat that you could graze on …
I fell behind a bit (ever read The Lost Weekend by Charles Jackson?)–apologies. You’ve probably already read the wraps yourself and I probably should just get my ducks in a row for next week, but I can’t not mention the laugh-out-loud Sam Sifton pan of the latest all-show, no-substance scene spot in SoHo. Here’s a taste, but read it. It gets better.
It can be awful there, the kind of restaurant where groups of women who might be Real Housewives gather in blowouts and big rings to talk and use their mobile phones, as that guy from “Heroes” who used to be on “Felicity” makes his way out to the lobby and everyone orders a second sweet cocktail before the salad comes out.
I must admit I won’t be buying Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan’s new book Serve Yourself based on his Cooking for One Column. Don’t worry this isn’t a criticism; Yonan is clearly thin skinned. I don’t buy any cookbooks really, though I do love reading nutritional books about tonics and superfoods. I get food magazines for inspiration, but most often I wait for a craving, hunt around Epicurious for tips, and build a meal around it.
The June issue of Food & Wine focuses pretty exclusively on malted bevs and the outdoor grill, so I will too. It worked; the editors got me excited about firing up the coals in my grill (or as I say, plugging it in). The wine pairings page now splits its space with beer pairings—good for some, but for me, an adamant Miller Lite drinker who strays only for homebrew, it’s a yawn. This beer-infused marshmallow could be interesting, but here’s a better idea: beer jello shots. Hm, with corn nuts on top. Done.
Despite my reservations about salads, I do occasionally eat them–I blame societal pressures. And as much as I cringe at bitter greens, fault must be shared with equally bitter salad dressings. Being a supertaster means sometimes flavors are simply too strong to take. For me, vinegar-based dressings often fall into this category (though I still prefer them to creamy when the only reason I’m choking down the stupid thing is to be healthy).